We all know by now the importance of protein. We know we need to consume a lot of protein on a daily basis. We are constantly being fed with benefits of protein. And that is great.
The problem is that most of us usually think of protein in an animal way. As in, we can source protein only from animal sources. Wrong. There are lots of vegetarian sources as well. Eggs, for example, are very rich in protein, and they are considered one of the best sources.
Proteins are a string of amino acids, each of them fulfilling a role. For instance, some amino acids end up being dopamine. There are two types of amino acids, essential and non-essential. Without going deep into the “what is protein discussion”, the main benefit of protein is that we can repair and build muscle mass. Protein also creates neurotransmitters like serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine.
If you are wondering how much protein you need, the World Health Organization recommends 0.3g of protein per 1lbs. If you are working out regularly, you can and should up that to 0.5g per 1lbs. That being said, let’s take a look at several plant sources for protein.
Chlorella is an alga that helps your body detox. People take chlorella to help their body flush out heavy metals. However, this alga contains 29g of protein per 50g of chlorella. That is a lot. In addition, this alga is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin A. The best way to consume is to add to smoothies and shakes.
Another alga on the list. Called red dulse, this sea vegetable contains 16g of protein per 50g. Other beneficial nutrients include iodine, fiber, and potassium. The best way to consume is to add in salads and soups.
Almond butter is a perfect alternative for the standard butter. Almond butter is much healthier, as it contains 10g of protein per 50g of butter. You can also source manganese, healthy fats, and vitamin E from almond butter. Like many other ingredients on this list, the best way to consume is to add to smoothies.
The best way to up your protein intake is to throw some flax seeds to your smoothies or salads. Just make sure you use fresh flax seeds. In addition to protein, they provide fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. You can also use flax seeds as an egg substitute.
Do not mistake cacao nibs as cocoa. Cacao nibs keep the living enzymes intact, improving your digestion along the way. They are also high in calcium, fiber, and magnesium.
Another easy way to up your protein intake is to sprinkle some hemp hearts on your salad. You can also add them to smoothies. Hemp Hearts contain 16g of protein per 50g.
The common name for this ingredient is Noosh. Nutritional yeast is very high in B vitamins. This cheesy and nutty flavored ingredient contains 25g of protein per 60g of serving.
This is the superfood everyone talked about in the past 10 to 15 years. Even Novak Djokovic said that spirulina helped him improve his shape and form. And it comes as no surprise. One serving of 50g contains 28g of protein. The superfood helps cleanse your body of toxins and delivers a high dosage of vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Tahini is actually a term used for roasted and crushed sesame seeds. In addition to protein, these seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, and manganese. They have anti-inflammatory properties that help your body. As for the protein content, tahini contains 10g of protein per 50g of serving. You can combine these seeds with any steamed vegetables for a quick snack or light meal.
Speaking of seeds, let’s finish off the list with one of the best sources of protein. Pumpkin seeds might not contain a high amount of protein, but they are easy to consume. One serving of 50g contains 8g of protein. Pumpkin seeds are also high in magnesium, and they help your body destroy parasites. Like any other seeds, pumpkin are best consumed in a salad.